Jean-Marie Straub

Jean-Marie Straub – Le genou d’Artémide (2008)

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quote: “It is easy to forget that the cinema is but light and shadow, and for such a simple admission, it takes someone like Jean-Marie Straub and Danièle Huillet to remind us of this vital fact.

Le Genou d’Artemide, to my knowledge Straub’s first film directed by himself after Huillet passed away, is really nothing but the sound of wind in the air, and the look of moving light through trees. There is a dialog too, of course, again adapted from Cesare Pavese like many of Straub/Huillet’s previous films, and fittingly it is about the vast distance between a mortal and the woman he loves, a goddess of dreams who encompasses all that is wild and wonderful, beastly and beautiful in the world. After the dialog, a series of wide-angle pans treat us to a near panoptic, resplendent vision of humanless forests, ending cryptically on what seems a grave or monument amongst the tree. Read More »

Jean-Marie Straub – Schakale und Araber (2011)


Description: Based on Kafka’s short story:

A European traveler from the North, accompanied by Arab guides, is camped in the desert. When night falls, and the Arabs are at a distance, the traveler is accosted by talking jackals. The jackals speak of an age-old hatred for Arabs, whom they associate with uncleanliness. They relate a belief passed down from their ancestors, that a man such as the protagonist would be the one to “end the quarrel which divides the world in two”. The jackals attempt to enlist the traveler’s assistance in destroying them, offering him old rusted scissors with which to slit the throats of the Arabs. ( Read More »